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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mailbag: Coach Frey: Cross Country Results

From: Denise and Richard Frey
Date: Sep 30, 2007 3:04 PM
Subject: CC Announcement

Congratulations goes out to the cross country teams as they traveled to Platteville on Saturday to run in the Platteville Invitational. The girls team placed 9th. Finishing 24th Carly Hutchins, Lauren Janes 31st, Sara gay 42nd, Emily Thornton 43rd, Ainae Soetaert 50th, Heather Patterson 53rd and Emily Grant 55th.
Boys varsity placed 6th. Ryan Ammerman finished 7th, Jake gay 14th, Evan Arnold 33rd, Ryan Reisem 44th, Zach McDonough 48th, Dylan Bjustad 54th and Pat Meredith 62nd.
Girls j.v finished 7th. Kirsten Gragg finished 21st, Racvhael Carlson 22nd, Leah Heimerl 29th, Slyvia Gay 56th, Neesha Miller 61st and Rachael Marx 75th.
Boys j.v finished 10th. Peter Gallman 43rd, Lucas Frey 44th, Tyler Graham 53rd, Keith Abel 54th, Colin Jeans 55th, And Jacob Olivas 68th.
Good job runners. The cross country team will run against Parkview and Brodhead at home on Tuesday. Come out and cheer on your team as they try and bring another 2 conference wins home. Race time middle school 4:30, high school girls 4:45 and boys high school 5:15.

Mailbag: Photo: Evansville CC Photos v. Beloit-Turner

Click on the post for the photos from the recent meet.

Budget Corner: Should there be more consequences on deadline breach

On Friday Wisconsin state lawmakers missed the deadline for finishing the state budget. One consequence is that the Supt. of Public Education, Supr. Burmeister said she would use last years figures for aid calculation purposes---which would result in 79 million less than some had hoped for being distributed to local school districts. I would think that this will result in higher property taxes statewide.

In Minnesota recently, a failure to reach budget compromise meant that highway rest stops were closed----in other words there was a real sense of urgency. Also, government agencies other than essential services were shut.

In Wisconsin there are no such consequences. In fact, yesterday in the midst of Badgermania in Madison, the budget may have been the last thing on folks minds.

Click on the post for the article in the Wisconsin State Journal on the budget situation.

Gazette Corner: The ATV Story

Click on the post for the story on the ATV's and the rising number of deaths. Should there be more stringent regulation?

You make the call.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Gazette Corner: Minemata Disease or mercury poinsoning

Lasy year many Evansville students participated in the international Mercury Conference held in Madison at the Frank Lloyd Wright Monona Terrace. The mayor of Minemata, Japan spoke.

Click on the post for the story in the Janesville Gazette

Gazette: School Beat: Janesville Faces Enrollment Decline

Click on the post for the story in the Janesville Gazette today. The decline would have been even larger, but Janesville did capture 31 students for its Virtual Academy and that helped.

Stay tuned.

Gazette Corner: The Historic Pavers

Click on the post for a nice article by Gina Duwe on the bricks being installed on Main Street in Evansville.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Video: Water nightmare Part I

Public Works: West Main: Resident explains her nightmare house purchase and crumbling basement walls

Download File

Video: Public Works: Water Nightmare II

Part 2 of 2, Resident explains water nightmare, contractor stands behind the job and comes up with 35,000 worth of repairs to remedy.

Download File

Public Works: DOT: Gary Sassman Speaks

Gary Sassman is the project manager for the HWY 59 road project in Evansville beginning in August 2008. He explains the project in a nutshell.

Download File

Minutes; Plan Commission; Wed. Sept 26, 2007

City of Evansville

Plan Commission

Special Meeting

Wednesday, September 26, 2007, 6:00 pm

City Hall (Third Floor), 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin

MINUTES

1. Call to Order. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Mayor Sandy Decker.

2. Roll Call. Present: Sandy Decker, Diane Roberts, Mason Braunschweig, Jim Brooks, Jeff Vrstal, and Bill Hammann. Staff present: Dan Wietecha and Judy Walton. Others present: Greg Johnson; Ehlers & Associates, Inc. and other members of the public.

-Gil Skinner arrived at 6:02 p.m.

3. Approve Agenda. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Hammann to approve the agenda. Motion approved unanimously.

4. Defer Minutes of September 4, 2007 Meeting. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Brooks to defer reading and adoption of the September 4, 2007 minutes until the next regular meeting. Motion approved unanimously.

5. Citizen Appearances Other Than Agenda Items Listed. There were none.

6. New Business.

1. TIF Increment District No. 8.

-Noting that her husband sits on the board for the Evansville Manor and that they own stock in it, Decker removed herself from the table at 6:02 p.m.

1. Presentation by Staff. Greg Johnson, Ehlers & Associates, Inc. presented the draft project plan. The proposed district is a Rehabilitation or Conservation District and complies with statutory criteria.

2. Initial Discussion by Plan Commission. Discussion included the public improvements, economic impact, and the overall financial schedule of the proposed plan.

3. Public Hearing. Braunschweig opened the public hearing at 6:21 p.m. Chris Eager, 120 Grove Street, asked Greg Johnson for clarification on the projections of the tax rate. Randena Soldner, 134 Joshua questioned what affect this would have on her property taxes. Diane Skinner, 263 Garfield Ave, and owner of Kelly House expressed concern about the impact this proposed plan would have on her and her business. Johnson and Wietecha explained the details of the tax distribution and the affect, if any, the proposed plan would have on the tax rate. Braunschweig closed the public hearing at 6:35 p.m.

4. Final Discussion by Plan Commission. Hammann summarized the repayment of the plan and stated the economic numbers are excellent.

5. Motion to Adopt Plan Commission Resolution 2007-6. Hammann made a motion, seconded by Roberts to adopt Plan Commission Resolution 2007-6 as drafted, recommending to Council the creation of Tax Increment District No. 8 and approval of the project plan. Motion carried 5-0 on a roll call vote with Skinner abstaining.

7. Next Regular Meeting Date. Monday, October 1, 2007.

8. Adjournment. On a motion by Hammann, seconded by Brooks the meeting adjourned at 6:38 p.m.

Prepared by:

Judy Walton

Public Works: Capital Budget Question

At the Public Works meeting on Tuesday night, Sept 25, 2007, the Observer asks the the question, his favorite question, Where's the Money" in the 5 year plan for the fix for the problem. Can we get a number to pencil in?

Download File

Dateline Milan: Fashion: The Sack is Back

Normally I do not cover fashion here on The Observer. However, click on the post to see that the "Sack" dress from the 1950's is back.

With this startling happening, one wonders whether everything is possible....like even leisure suits making a comeback.....

Assessment Public Hearing on Bricks coming October 9th

There will be a public hearing at City Hall on October 9th regarding the assessment on residents for the improvements regarding the downtown brick project. This meeting was noticed in the Evansville Review and mentioned by Dave Sauer at the Public Works meeting on Tuesday.

The Observer has had inquiries on what elements will be assessed and how this compares with the assessments of past projects.

If you have minutes of the relevant meeting that reviewed what was going to be assessed to the homeowners, please email the Observer at fre2Observe@yahoo.com This occurred prior to the audio and video on this blog and I cannot find the minutes relevant. If you have any information on this, please respond. Thanks.

Redevelopment plan for Downtown Janesville --Monday

Click on the post for the details on this meeting.

Minutes: Public Works; Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Public Works Committee

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, August 28, 2007 at 6:00 p.m.

Public Works Garage, 535 South Madison Street, Evansville, WI

MINUTES

Call the meeting to order at 6:00pm

Roll Call- All present; Braunschweig, Juergens, Sornson, Sauer, Wartenweiller

Approve Agenda - Approved Unanimously

Approve minutes of July 24th, 2007 Meeting- Approved unanimously

Citizen appearances- None

11(b)- Discussion and potential action regarding the west-side water issue-

Dave Sauer began the meeting while giving explanations of the Westfield Meadows flood study. He then gave a brief background of the entire area. After this the forum was opened up to the people of that area of the city. Many spoke and their comments are surmised as follows:

Is the area in a floodplain? No.

Where is the water table currently in the area? It has adjusted due to the torrential rains.

Many people complained that their sump pumps were going off frequently.

Many people wanted to know what has changed since the last time.

Rodney James felt that a solid surface was needed when dealing with storm water removal.

John Jones felt water was running the wrong way.

What was the status with the v-notch?

Mark Schnepper feels that the fill dirt at Westfield Meadows is the cause. He would like the city to consult a hydrologist.

Roger Berg explained that the problem can be analogized to bathtubs and that currently the water in the “bath tub” does not have a viable release. He says that water from Westfield Meadows is not flowing into S.6th st, but instead it is water from the west.

Lake Leota Restoration Update -

They have a new member and would like to be kept in the “loop.”

Site Plan Reviews

Capstone II - number of items still need to be resolved.

Manor- Just received it. Will discuss next month.

Construction Updates

Main Street Progress Report

90% poured. Only week behind.

County Trunk Highway M Progress Report

Finishing storm sewer. No action taken on contractor's request to postpone completion date.

North Prairie Productions Progress Report

Seeking variances for certain height requirements.

Capstone Ridge Phase 2 Progress Report

Covered.

Westfield Meadows Progress Report

Still lookin for fees.

Madison St. (HY 59)

Proposed plans w/ modifications received. Vurb, gutter & storm water to serve apartments.

Communications from City Engineer

Badger drive bids received and motion to award contract to R&K for contract 07-EV-4 in the amount of $124,891.32 approved unanimously.

Communications of Public Works Director

2007 Sidewalk improvement project

PW to get moving on this because under budget on Badger Dr. project. Will go off priority list with an exception on 6th St.

Discuss state/municipal agreement for Main St. Bridge

Received agreement from DOT. Sauer to review construction scheduled for 2010.

New Business

Relocating streetlights from Main ST. to other locations-

14 lights. Action to be taken next month.

Discussed above.

Discussion and possible action regarding building permit process.

Staff will work on this and come back to PW committee.

London FlyGirl checks in:

Click on the post for the latest adventure of London FlyGirl.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Minutes: Water and Light; Wed. August 29, 2007

Water & Light Committee Meeting

Regular Monthly Meeting

Wednesday August 29, 2007

6:30 P.M. at 15 Old 92

Minutes

Members Present: Tom Cothard, Barb Jacobson, and John Sornson

Staff: Scott George, Superintendent; John Rasmussen, Line Foreman; and Jake Oakie WPPI

The meeting was called to order by Chairperson Tom Cothard at 6:30 P.M.

Motion by Sornson, 2nd by Cothard to approve the July 29 minutes as printed. The minutes were approved with a date change and should read July 25, 2007, Amended minutes were approved unanimously.

Jake Oakie (WPPI) gave a brief presentation on what is going on at WPPI. He also presented an overview of new programs being offered.

Sornson water rate reduction for new seeding. After a brief discussion Cothard motioned, 2nd by Jacobson, to approve the water rate reduction for new seeding for Mr. Sornson. Motion failed on a roll call vote: Cothard No, Jacobson Yes, and Sornson Abstained.

Roger Berg was present in regards to possible funding from public benefits monies for a wind powered aeration pump. Project was recommended to committee by the Public Benefits Committee. Although the project does not fit within general guidelines for public benefits, it was felt it would be good Public Relations for the community. The project is very visible when entering the city from the South (213). Motion by Jacobson, 2nd by Cothard. Motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote in favor to fund $1456.50 of the project.

Superintendent report - Main Street Water Main is 90% complete; Maple Street is complete; County Road M Rebuild is 90% complete; Downtown Street Lighting power feed has been started; North Prairie Project has been started; and the Union-Townline Substation grading has been started.

On a motion by Jacobson, 2nd by Sornson the meeting adjourned at 7:32 p.m.

Prepared by:

Scott E. George, Water & Light Superintendent

The minutes are not official until approved by the Water & Light Committee at their next regular meeting.

Mailbag: Jeff Pieterick writes re Biodiesel; What you can do to show support

Dear Biodiesel Colleagues,

Nearly 50 were in attendance at this morning's meeting of the Wisconsin Biodiesel Association. It was an informative session including presentations focused upon "Wisconsin Biodiesel: Growing a Renewable Energy Industry."
The challenges that confront the biodiesel industry in Wisconsin were explored. Production and distribution of biodiesel, feedstock issues, and market development within the state were examined. John Wilson, lobbyist from Michael Best & Friedrich, talked about the items included in the legislative initiative that has been advanced by WBA, along with an explanation of the way in which passage of these budget items will address the concerns outlined.
It's now "crunch time" in the State Budget process. I have attached a WBA Legislative Action Alert that explains how you can most effectively contact your state legislator and the Governor's office to encourage their support for the biodiesel industry initiative in this budget. I encourage you to do so this week as budget deliberations in the Legislature's Joint Conference Committee show promise of soon coming to a close.
As always, thank you in advance for your efforts on behalf of Wisconsin's biodiesel industry and in support of creating "HomeGrown Fuel for a Better Wisconsin." You can access additional information about WBA via our website (www.wibiodiesel.org). Meanwhile, please feel welcome to contact me or any member of the WBA Board of Directors with any questions.

With My Regards,

Jeff Pieterick
President
Wisconsin Biodiesel Association
www.wibiodiesel.org

North Prairie Productions, LLC
155 Union Street; PO Box 48
Evansville, WI 53536
Toll free: 877.299.2435
Cell: 920.988.4058
FAX: 877.299.2435
www.npnrg.com

"Harvesting Renewable Energy for a Sustainable Future"

GM/UAW reach agreement;

Click on the post for the latest.

Public Works: 9-25-2007

Resident recounts nightmare of water problem---due to contractor error and being paid for by contractor.

MP3 File

Public Works: 9-25-2007 Water Nightmare part II

Detailed discussion of the nightmare case and various elements 0f the cause.

MP3 File

Public Works: 9-25-2007

Mr. Dave Sauer reports on progress in the gathering of the data of the West side stormwater situation

MP3 File

Public Works: 9-25-2007

Discussion of Westside Water issues.

MP3 File

Public Works: 9-25-2007

Presentation by Gary Sassman of Wisconsin DOT regarding Hwy 59 and Madison Street Project beginning in June of 2008

MP3 File

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mailbag: Cross Country Update

From: Denise and Richard Frey
Date: Sep 25, 2007 8:03 PM
Subject: CC Announcemnet


Congratulations goes out to the cross country teams. The team traveled to Beloit to race against Beloit Turner and Big Foot. Boys came away with 1 win and 1 loss. They defeated Big Foot 25 to 32 and lost to Turner 25 to 33. Winning the race Ryan Ammerman, Jake Gay 5th, Evan Arnold 8th, Zach McDonough 13th, Ryan Reisem 17th, Dylan Bjustad 18th, Alex Alt 19th, Pat Meredith 23rd, Lucas Frey 25th, Pete Gallman 26th, Jacob Olivas 30th, Tyler Graham 31st, Colin Jeans 32nd and Keith Abel 33rd. Great job boys.
The girls came away with 2 wins making it 75 straight conference wins. The girls dominated the race and had a perfect score against Big Foot and Turner. Winning the race was Carly Hutchins. Sara Gay 2nd, Lauren Janes 3rd, Emily Thornton 4th, Heather Patterson 5th, Ainae Soetaert 7th, Kirsten Gragg 10th, Rachael Carlson 12th, Leah Heimerl 13th, Emily Grant 14th, Sylvia Gay 20th, Neesha Miller 25th and Rachael Marx 26th. Great job ladies.
Well done runners!

Gazette Corner: DOT Presents at Public Works--Tuesday Night---6:00PM--- re Hwy 59/Madison Street Improvements

Click on the post for the details of the meeting at Evansville Public Works next week.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Public Works meets tomorrow night: 6:00PM;

Agenda: Public Works: Tuesday, Sept 25, 2007

NOTICE

The regular meeting of the Public Works Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on the date and time stated below at Public Works Garage, 535 South Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance.

Public Works Committee

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2007 at 6:00 p.m.

Public Works Garage, 535 South Madison Street, Evansville, WI

AGENDA

1. Call the meeting to order
2. Roll Call
3. Motion to Approve Agenda
4. Motion to Approve minutes of August 28, 2007 Meeting
5. Citizen appearances
6. Lake Leota Restoration Update
7. Site Plan Reviews
8. Construction Updates
1. Main Street Progress Report
2. County Trunk Highway M Progress Report
3. Badger & Higgins Intersection
4. North Prairie Productions Progress Report
5. Capstone Ridge Phase 2 Progress Report
6. Westfield Meadows Progress Report
7. Madison Street (TH 59) Progress Report [may be moved to start of agenda]
9. Communications from City Engineer
10. Communications of Public Works Director
1. Discussion and possible motion regarding 2007 sidewalks project
11. New Business
1. Discussion and possible action regarding the City’s Community Rating System (CRS) classification with regard to flood insurance premiums
2. Discussion and possible action regarding the preparation of a storm water management plan for the city
3. Refuse & Recycling contract with Veolia (expires Dec 2007)
12. Old Business
1. Discussuon and possible action regarding the Westside water issue
13. Adjourn

yahoo: Greenspeaks: House prices to go much lower

Click on the post for the latest from Alan Greenspan who spoke in Vienna on Friday.

I have purchased Alan's latest book, "The Age of Turbulance" in which he reviews in depth what he also said in the speech on Friday----that the Fed was was powerless in its efforts to rein in the inflationary boom of housing prices. That is the press release he wants to be accepted as truth---we will examine whether that is really so. Stay tuned.

On the the little knows facts about the Crash of 1929 was the role of Joe Kennedy in making money off the declining market. There were no "short sale rules" at that time, and thus gangs of "bears" would spread rumors in order to help the market go further down. All fair game in those days. He made his fortune short selling. In fact, he learned so much that when the reforms were reviewed such as the Securities Act of 1933 etc. , he was asked by the President to help devise rules so it could not happen again.

One thing was not regulated----the "trash talking" of former Fed officials. Maybe that should have been addressed.

Stay tuned to the Evansville Observer.

Gazette Corner: The New Evansville Hotel----

Click on the post for the latest from Gina Duwe in the Janesville Gazette.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Nostalgia: Audio: City Budget 2006--Levy--

Eric Jepperson--budget talks--2006 reviews city levy numbers

MP3 File

Nostalgia: Budget: 2006: Jennifer Petruzello speaks

A nostalgic look back to the budget discussion of yesteryear.

MP3 File

Video:4: Evansville Plan: Economy Store Restoration: 2007

Video: Evansville Plan Commission: 2007: 4 of 4: Discussion of developers agreement

Download File

Video: 3 of 4: Evansville Economy Store: Archive; TIF:

Video: Evansville Economy Store: Plan Commission hearing; 2007: TIF: DYsis: Discussion of process; developers agreement

Download File

Video: Evansville Economy Store; TIF: Dysis; Plan Commission

Video: TIF: Planning Commission Deliberations on Historic Restoration of Economy Store;

Download File

Chanel 3000: Madison Beer Gardens close early Saturday night

click on the post for the latest.

Mailbag: Cross Country: Results from Reedsburg

From: Denise and Richard Frey
Date: Sep 23, 2007 9:18 AM
Subject: CC Announcement


Congratulations goes out the the boys and girls cross country teams. Saturday they traveled to Reedsburg to race in the Reedsburg Invitational. The girls varsity brought home the 1st place trophy in the small schools. Carly Hutchins finished 5th, Sara Gay 6th, Emily Thornton 7th, Lauren Janes 10th, Heather Patterson11th, Ainae Soetaert 15th and Emily Grant 24th. The girls j.v team finished 3rd overall. Rachael Carlson 4th place, Kirsten Gragg 5th, Leah Heimerl 7th, Neesha Miller 30th, Amanda Persike 35th, Sylvia Gay 36th and Rachael Marx39th. Great job!
Boys varsity placed 3rd. Ryan Ammerman finished 2nd, Jake Gay 5th, Evan Arnold 8th, Ryan Reisem 20th and Pat Merdith 39th. The boys j.v team also placed 3rd. Running j.v, Lucas Frey 26th, Tyler Graham 33rd, Peter Gallman 35th, Jacob Olivas 37th and Keith Abel 39th. Well done runners. Your hard work is paying off.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Special Common Council Meeting---Thursday, Sept 27, 2007----Budget in Focus

The annual special Common Council meeting to review the budget will be held this coming week on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007. In the agenda, it states that "The Finance Committee and Common Council will add, delete, or modify items in the proposed budget, as appropriate, at their meetings on October 4 and 9, 2007,prior to the Council's approval of the budget for publication. Final action on the budget is scheduled for the Finance Committee and Common Council meetings on November 8 and 13, 2007.

The following is the times that the various departments will be discussed.

6:30PM Public Safety( including Police, Emergency Medical Service, and Fire)

6:45 Municipal Court

7:00PM Electric Utility, water Utility

7:15: Library

7:30 General Government( including Common Council, Mayor, City Administrator, Clerk-Treasurer, Finance Director, Debt Service, Capital Budget, TID #5,6,7 and Other General Government.

7:45PM Building Inspection

7:55 Public Works and Recycling and Refuse


The Observer hopes to have audio of each section for your listening pleasure. Citizens who have concerns about specific programs they want in a specific budget can come and observe. No action is taken at these meetings but issues are discussed and the financial impact of possible decisions are weighed.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Gazxette Corner: Community Center could open next year

Click on the post for the latest from Gina Duwe of the Janesville Gazette.

Yahoo News: Greenspan: House Prices to go Much lower;

Click on the post for the full article.

Mr. Greenspan notes that the efforts of the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates to stem the real estate bubble did not work, and the efforts of the EU did not work either. "We were helpless," he says.

The other night on PBS, Mr. Greenspan in an interview said similar sentiments, and used the "F" word. He said that while the Federal Reserve could not do something about the subprime problem in the past, the real problem was "FRAUD" and that the federal government could do something about that.

Dateline Madison: TIF Success and development yield windfall

Madison schools as well as the City enjoy the moment as two TIF districts are paid off early and will yield a windfall to the budgets of of both city and school. This is the role model we need. Stay tuned.

Minnesota DOT awards bridge contract to highest bidder---protested.

Click on the post for the controversy in Minnesota.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Audio: Mayor Decker speaks

Complete Audio--Mayor Decker--9-20-2007--Brick Ceremony on Main Street, Evansville, Wisconsin

MP3 File

Finance Note: The flip side of the rate cut-----a collapse of the dollar?

Click on the post for an article in the Telegraph UK.

Mailbag; Mr. Connors Writes: Re. Redevelopment Union Street

(Ed. note: This was submitted as a comment and I have posted it for better visibility.)


Bill Connors has left a new comment on your post "Minutes: Redevelopment Authority:, Tuesday, Sept ...":

If redevelopment of Union St. between N. Madison St. and E. Main St. is going to happen sooner than 25 years (or more) from now, the city somehow has to convince the Adams Roofing people to redevelop their large parcel (meaning raze the existing structures and build something new) or to sell the property to someone who wants to redevelop it. The Adams Roofing people are notorious for not being interested in redeveloping their properties (there are plenty of Janesville Gazette artciles about this). So if the city merely intends to adopt a plan and then wait to see if property owners do anything, the plan will collect a lot of dust while nothing happens, because nothing can happen without the redevelopment of this large, central parcel.

Bill Connors

Video 4: A comic moment;

The case of the signed brick.

Download File

Video: Mayor Decker lists the Thank Yous

Mayor Decker listed some of the key participants in making the Main Street Project happen, and Chris Eager as one of the key citizens involved spoke.

Download File

Video: Brick Ceremony: The Politicians speak

Sen. Erpenbach and Rep. Brett Davis attended the brick ceremony on Thursday morning and have both been past supporters of the effort of Evansville to restore the Downtown.

Download File

Video: Mayor Decker Speaks at Brick Ceremony

Mayor Decker spoke on Wed 9-20-2007---With Sen. Erpenbach and Rep. Brett Davis in attendance as well as former mayors of Evansville and current alderman, she celebrated the final stretch of the Main Street Restoration for Evansville.

Download File

Minutes: Redevelopment Authority:, Tuesday, Sept 18, 2007

Evansville Redevelopment Authority

Board of Commissioners

Regular Meeting

Tuesday, September 18, 2007, 7:30 pm

City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin

MINUTES

Call to Order. The meeting was called to order at 7:30 pm by Chair Chris Eager. Present: Chris Eager, Betsy Ahner, Tony Wyse, John Decker, Barb Jacobson, Tom Calley, and Roger Roth. Also present: Executive Director Dan Wietecha, Mayor Sandy Decker, Mike Stumpf and Jude Gagliano of RA Smith, and members of the public.

Declare Quorum. There being a majority of the commissioners present at call to order, a quorum was declared by the chair.

Approve Agenda. Ahner made a motion, seconded by Decker, to approve the agenda. Motion carried unanimously.

Approve Minutes of August 21, 2007 Meeting. Decker made a motion, seconded by Jacobson, to approve the minutes. Motion carried unanimously.

Old Business.

Main Street Construction. Wietecha gave an update on anticipated construction progress. The bricks should start on West Main this Wednesday; a brick laying ceremony has been scheduled for 10:00 on Thursday. Wednesday should also bring paving of the south half of East Main Street, with the north half to be poured on Thursday or Friday. Sidewalks on East Main are not expected until the week after next. Curb and gutter on the far end of East Main should be done this week.

Allen Creek Master Plan. Mike Stumpf presented the revised draft for the Allen Creek and North Union Street Redevelopment Master Plan. He noted there are three zones within the corridor: the southern end close to the downtown, an area more suitable for automobile-oriented business on the northern end, and a transition area in between. Although the relative importance for automobiles and pedestrians differs among the zones; all are intended to maintain a pedestrian friendly environment. Architectural design standards are meant to reflect traditional styles, have a pedestrian orientation, and include landscaping. Several physical improvements are recommended including constructing a new public street south from Main Street to Church Street and extending the entrance of Leonard/Leota Park east to the highway. Stumpf noted that a key question to the implementation strategies would be how vigorously the city wished to encourage redevelopment in the corridor.

The board discussed implementation of the master plan with Stumpf and the public. It was noted that by commercial standards, the traffic counts in the corridor are rather low and that the primary market area around Evansville has a fairly small population. Stumpf explained a chart in the report that indicates that personal services are more likely to locate in the corridor than retail shops. The board asked that a section be added to the master plan to address attracting new businesses that may be suitable for the corridor.

The board agreed that the purpose of the plan was not to force any individual business to redevelop nor to force anyone from their home. It was noted that it could take a long time before the corridor were to redevelop in a way that resembles the recommendations of the report. However, there are some key locations that may be ripe for redevelopment and these places need a plan.

A few specific points were mentioned. It is important to preserve the rail corridor through the area for freight and possibly commuter service. The possibility of a park-n-ride type facility may serve to anchor some development in the corridor. The development of the biodiesel and soybean crushing facilities will benefit a variety of commercial enterprises throughout the area. Although apartments above offices or stores may make sense in some areas of the corridor; they should not be permitted on the properties adjacent to Baker Manufacturing.

New Business. None.

Other Business. None.

Adjournment. Jacobson moved, seconded by Decker, to adjourn the meeting. Motion approved unanimously at 9:15 pm.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Video: Library Director Speaks

At the September 10, 2007 Finance Committee meeting Kathy, the Library Director speaks about the needs of the Eager Library the needs for expansion and the roles to be expanded.

Download File

Video: Library Addition: Wietecha Speaks

Evansville City Administrator speaks at Evansville Finance Committee meeting on 9-6-2007 regarding complexities of possible purchase of old post office and the details required of new owner.

Download File

Nostalgia: October 2006: Evansville reaches levy limit

Click on the post for a look back a year.

OpEd: Minutes: Finance: 2007--- September---5 Year Capital Plan

At the September 2007 Finance Committee Meeting, even before FEMA had done their claims process in Evansville, the Finance Committee voted unanimously to accept the 5 Year Capital Plan and recommend it to Common Council.

Here is a portion of the minutes:

"2008-2012 Capital Plan. The committee reviewed the proposed five-year plan. Jepperson noted that it contained the recommendations coming out of the various committees. Cothard made a motion, seconded by Braunschweig to recommend to the Common Council adoption of the five-year capital plan for 2008-2012. Motion approved unanimously on a roll call vote."

At the following week's Common Council, before the meeting had begun, Mayor Sandy Decker asked that this item be striken from the agenda since Eric Jepperson was absent, and also because other items needed to be reviewed before presentation to Common Council for approval.

YES. A prudent review is in order. As far as the Observer can tell, the initial five year capital plan proposal approved at Finance did not have one penny of infrastructure improvement to help solve the West side water problems. The full extent of the damage had not yet been fully appraised.

You may recall that at Public Works, the possible necessity of annexation of land as well as additional holding ponds might be necessary. The city engineer was discussing the options. The developers were involved.

The good news is that the capital plan approval was delayed in final approval. It seems to me that even though the developers paid the costs of the holding pond on Porter Road, pending the input of the DNR, and pending the review of the data for the recent flooding, the costs for infrastructure improvement could be very high-----and it also seems to me that it is important if there is to be any further development that these solutions, temporary and long term, need to be be done, done right, and promptly.

That is how I see it. And you?

(P.S. The Capital Plan will be discussed during the budget hearings next week. I will post the schedule when I get it.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Daily Planet: The Food Fight is Heating Up

With the rapid rise of the biofuel industry has come rising corn prices. These high prices affect food costs globally. Will it become a choice of food or fuel? Click on the post for an interesting article from the Daily Planet in Minneapolis.

Dateline Oregon: Should teachers be allowed to carry a gun to school?

Click on the post for the latest. Nothing like a responsible armed adult in charge----that is what the teacher in Oregon is asserting. Stay tuned.

Dateline Wall Street: Fed cuts rate 1/2 percent; Market responds

Click on the post for the story this afternoon from yahoo news.

Dateline Normal: "O.J. Explained"-----Fiction

Click on the post for the latest from Normal, Mn., a fictional land just south of Garrison, Mn., but other than that.....

The Bricks begin Thursday Morning---9:30AM-10:ooAM

Thursday morning, according to word on the street, the Mayor and other folks will gather in front of the Eager Free Public Library to place the first brick on the newly restored street.

Economic Development Committee Meets tonight----

Agenda: Economic Development; Tuesday, Sept 18, 2007

NOTICE

A regular meeting of the Economic Development Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on the 18th day of September 2007, at 5:30 p.m., at City Hall, 31 South Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance.

City of Evansville

Economic Development Committee

Tuesday, September 18th, 2007, 5:30 PM

City Hall, 31 S. Madison St. Evansville, WI
AGENDA

Roll call.

2. Approval of agenda.

Motion to waive reading of the minutes of August 21st, 2007 regular meeting and approve as printed.

Citizens appearances, other than on items listed below.

Chamber of Commerce report.

City Administrators report.

Update on soybean crush plant.

City Website update and discussion.

Report from Downtown Reconstruction Task Force.

Update from Judy Whalen on Economic Development Strategy/Summit.

Discussion

10. Final review and approval of the revised policy for the Economic Development . Revolving Loan Fund.

11. Adjournment

Tony Wyse, Chair

Rock Net Roots: Greenspan Revealed

Click on the post for the article by Rock Net Roots today. Classic.

Gazette Corner: Beloit Turner plans for school referendum

Click on the post for the full story in the Janesville Gazette.

Interesting that the configuration of the middle/high school is grade 6 though 12.

Also interesting is the lack of choice for the voters about 4k. It is included in all the referendum proposals.

The 90 million dollars of improvements are represented to last 25 to 30 years. have we heard this before? Stay tuned.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Wall Street: Straight Talk from Obama

Click on the post for the speech to wall street pros today.

Agenda: Historic Preservation: Fire Damaged Building: Creek Walls on Agenda

Monday, September 17, 2007
Agenda; Historic Preservation: Sept 19, 2007

NOTICE

The regular meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission for the City of Evansville will be held on the 19th day of September, 2007, at 7:00 p.m., at City Hall, 31 South Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin, or alternate location. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance.

Evansville Historic Preservation Commission

Regular Meeting Agenda

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

3rd Floor, City Hall

7:00pm

***Second Draft***

Call to Order

Roll Call

Motion to waive reading of the July 18, 2007 minutes and approve them as read.

Applications - Appearances

23 N. First Street Kaether - Driveway, walkways & patio

9 W. Liberty Street Kufahl- Repair Deck, porch and exits

205 W. Church Street Kaser - Exterior Improvements, windows

Old Business:

16 W. Main Street Eager - Discussion on Rebuilding/Fire

Administrative

WAHPC Fall Convention in Evansville, John Decker

Update Bricks on Main Street, John Decker

Grove Society, Betsy Ahner

Redevelopment Authority, John Decker

Easement Form Update Discussion, John Decker

Plaque Program

2007 Budget Items:

Motion to approve donation in support of 4th grade History Hunters program.

Discussion and possible motion to approve financial support for creek wall restoration project.

Other Business

Correspondences

Park Board meets TONIGHT;

click on the post for the full agenda.

Mailbag: Lost Dog Corner

Jack Russell dog found Sunday, Sept. 16, 2007, South Second Street area. Young adult male, white body, black and brown face, collar but no tags. Call 882-5166.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Star Tribune: O.J. Simpson Arrested===

Click on the post for the story in the Star Tribune.

NYT: Greenspan: Iraq War was for Oil

Click on the post for the full story. What a shocking thing the truth can be sometimes. Alan Greenspan has a new book coming out tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Mailbag: Brett Davis writes on Budget Impasse:

Time To Put Differences Aside And Finish The State Budget

As the Conference Committee has met over the last several weeks to try and work out a state budget we can all agree on, one thing has become increasingly clear to me: Despite all the stark differences between the Senate and Assembly versions of the budget, life�s too short for politics and it�s time to get the budget done.

I�ve heard it repeated in the communities I�ve visited this summer and I�ve said it time and again myself. And if I could have it my way we�d simply lock the Conference Committee members in a room and not let them out until the budget is complete.

My legislative colleagues and I caucused on Monday, Sept. 10 to hear an update from our Conference Committee members on the state budget. My message to them was simple: Roll up your sleeves and continue working until the job is done.

It is true that while the 2005-07 state budget officially expired at midnight, July 1, the state continues operating with the same level of funding as provided in that budget � and will continue to do so until a budget compromise is reached.

However, school districts and local governments are trying to set their budgets. Without a state budget in place we all face property tax increases in order to ensure there�s enough money for our cities and our schools. I am doing everything I can to get a full state budget approved. Since the Conference Committee can�t agree on every part of the budget yet, at a minimum it is important a good faith compromise be reached now on education and aid to local governments.

On Thursday, Sept. 13 the Assembly Conference Committee members offered a compromise which will provide school districts with more than $12.3 billion � a $543 million increase in state aid over the next two years. Outlined below is a brief summary of our school aid proposal and the versions of the budget in which each component was originally included:

General & Categorical School Aids

General School Aids $235 million increase (Governor\Senate)
Special Education Aids $53.5 million increase (Governor\Assembly\Senate)
SAGE Increase $26.7 million increase (Senate)
School Safety Grants $10 million in new funding (Assembly)
School Library Aids $17 million increase
School Breakfast Aids $3.2 million increase (Governor\Senate)
Pupil Transportation Increase per pupil reimbursement rate from $180 to $220 for transporting pupils over 12 miles

Revenue Limits

Per Pupil Adjustment $264 increase in 2007-08; $270 (est.) increase in 2008-09 (Governor)
Low Revenue Ceiling $8,700 increase in 2007-08 (Governor\Assembly\Senate) $9,000 increase in 2008-09 (Governor\Assembly\Senate)
Declining Enrollment Increase adjustment from 75% to 100% of three-year rolling average and prior year base revenue floor for severe declining enrollment (Governor\Assembly\Senate)
School Levy Credit $200 million in 2008-09 tax year (Assembly)

In addition, the compromise increases shared revenue for local governments so they may continue to provide high quality services like police protection to our state�s residents. This compromise will also address the property tax freeze and offer a common sense solution. The Senate originally proposed freezing property taxes at a 4 percent increase, while the Assembly passed a budget with a zero percent increase. Because our state�s economy continues to grow, our Conference Committee members proposed a compromise of a 2 percent increase in property taxes.

According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB), if nothing is done before rapidly approaching statutory deadlines, property taxpayers will be on the hook for an unnecessary $589.7 million over the next two years. For the median value home, this will mean a total of $199 over the next two years. If our legislation is passed to provide critical funding for K-12 schools and local governments, that $589.7 million property tax hike will be averted.

There are many tough budget decisions still to be made and some glaring differences between the Senate and Assembly versions of the budget to overcome. A Senate budget that increases government spending by 23 percent versus an Assembly budget with a 5 percent increase is just one of several major hurdles the Conference Committee must overcome.

But my message will continue to remain the same: We need a budget compromise and we need it now. The voters of Wisconsin sent us to the legislature to do a job. Now it�s time to get that job done.

If you wish to remove yourself from the mailing list, please respond back to this email with the subject line "REMOVE".

State Representative Brett Davis
State Capitol - Room 308 North - Post Office Box 8952 - Madison, Wisconsin 53708
(608) 266-1192 - Fax (608) 282-3680 - Toll Free: (888) 534-0080
Email: Rep.Davis@legis.wi.gov
On the Internet: www.brettdavis.us
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School Beat; Plunkett Raysich: The Options Review: The Analysis: OPEd.

(Ed. note: This is an Oped on a section of the Plunkett Raysich report. It will be featured on the right hand column of the Evansville Observer along with the original video and a pdf of the report. The current Building and Grounds Committee is beginning to act on some aspects of the Plunkett Report, and citizens will be involved. Stay tuned.)


The Options Review in the Plunkett Raysich study was incoherent. Even the senior consultant in the presentation on video said all of the options were unsatisfactory and he added one of his own.

After participating in many of the meetings, and reviewing the film several times, here is my summary:

Two years ago, Mr. Jerry Roth, former principal of the Middle School, mentioned at a school board meeting, that the logical site for a middle school was where the current elementary and intermediate school is----its proximity to the athletic fields as well as proximity for students in accelerated classes makes it perfect. Most participants agree that this is so.

The one caveat to this is that the oldest part of the facility---Levi Leonard would have to be razed and depending on how many middle schoolers were projected, a new portion would be necessary. Quality construction. Two story. With the result that the current site would have more space added to grounds. The site would become more adequate.

Now that we have that piece of the puzzle---we need a new elementary school---Grades K through 8. The issue that arises is whether it should be one or two elementary schools. That is open for discussion. The most efficient choice is is ONE school k-8. No need for two principals. etc. Should it be close to the current school location? I think the consensus is---- Yes. Should the purchase of the land be soon? I think the answer is-- yes. Assuming that 5-10 years in the future is the opening of the facility.

What to do with the Middle School------the Middle School would be repurposed-----What would this consist of? There are many ideas on the table. The problem with many of these ideas is that they do not remove the expenses of the site from the equation--the expense to the taxpayer that is. The current middle school is inefficient. It would not be efficient, just by using it for example for adding a role for the school system, such as a 4K program.

Here are some of my ideas on repurpose:

1. The location for AWARE and the Dean Center was never logically the ceremic shop. If it was located in the current middle school, next to the gym, it would work out nicely.

2. The Library: The current Eager Free Library site is not ever going to be adequate for the parking necessary for expanded use. A formal Plunket Raysich study would reveal this site inadequacy. The original gift was for a library--it will remain one, and a state of the art one to be proud of. I would much prefer using the current Eager Library as a Computer Library, and Videoconferencing center, with 20 computers on the main floor and two conference rooms downstairs.

A second Evansville Library would be located in the current middle school, with the whole first floor opened up.

On the third floor of the current middle school--where the current library is, could be the Internet Charter School---it could house the faculty and the technology to add internet students to the Evansville School District---revenue positive. The lack of internet options for special students as well as internet literate students is one of the current reasons for net loss of open enrollment students for our district. Parents want options. Internet education is one of them. To be competitive, we must offer choices.

This scenario would require the cooperation of the City of Evansville as well as the Evansville School District in a joint agreement. It is unclear what the the details of such an arrangement could be, but the consultants, Plunkett Raysich represented themselves as experts of designing such relationships.

Dateline St. Paul: ELL Students find Success

40% of the students in St. Paul Public Schools are in ELL. Click on the post for an article about the program there.

OpEd: The Bin Laden Videos: lessons for The Observer

Recently the two videos from Osama Bin Laden had put the Evansville Observer himself in quite a tizzy. After all. Imagine an aging guy like Osama, working out of a cave somewhere in Pakistan with a wireless laptop maybe, or maybe with an expensive MAC PRO with video and Final Cut Pro software ---and yes an external generator outside the cave to provide some power once in a while to recharge the batteries.

In short---the guy had some adversity to his production schedule---and yet he publishes two 15 minute videos---and with complex editing and with compression. Yes.
It appears that he knows far MORE about video than the Observer does.

Just when I was getting a little jealous about this guys ability to learn new technology while hunkered down in a cave----the news came out that indeed the video was a total fake. What a relief!!!!!

The whole incident could have been a huge black eye to all of us bloggers and yes--even cities too. Imagine being a city, even a city here in God's county, midst the plenty of cheese and the Green Bay Packers....and saying that we just cannot do video and audio for our community civic meetings----but Osama seems to have the ability right out of a cave. Yes. That comparison might have harmed our reputation.

Relax. They were just a fake.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Mayor Decker: FEMA Coming to Evansville Thurs.

FEMA will be coming to Evansville on Thursday to set up a DRC, a Disaster Recovery Center---located at the DEAN COMMUNITY CENTER and open the following hours:

Thursday: NOON --7PM
Friday: 8AM to 7PM
Saturday: 8AM to 7PM


Click on the video to hear further details
Email this video to your friends
Visit the City of Evansville Web site for the latest details.

Download File

Nostalgia: July 16, 2007 : Art Phillips Speaks: re: School Building

(Ed. note: In light of the announcement of school enrollment decline, it is interesting to go back 60 days and hear the words of caution again of Art Phillips at the July 16, 2007 Evansville School Board meeting.)


7-16-2007--Building and Grounds, Evansville School District, Art Phillips, Board member cautions that review of sites is fine, but with respect to building anything, the recent slowdown in building activity must be taken into account---the future is unknown. It can go either way.

Download File

Is the Bin Ladin Video a Fake?

Click on the post for a discussion ala tech talk on whether the Osama BinLaden video is a fake.

The production of two videos in a month has made a lot of us wonder.

CNN: Video: The Mystery Plane of 911

Click on the post for one of the mysteries of 911.

Gazette Corner: FEMA: The Southern Wis Picture

Click on the post for the story in the Janesville Gazette today that gives the larger picture of claims made to FEMA so far in southern Wisconsin and the analysis.

Gazette Corner: Landmark will match 4 million grant if given;

Click on the post for the scoop by Gina Duwe of the Janesville Gazette.

The $4,000,000 grant was the subject of an Evansville Common Council Resolution last Tuesday night, with the Council giving its blessing on the efforts of lobbyists, and the efforts of both Brett Davis and Jon Erpenbach to see this crushing plant happen in Evansville.

The article in the Gazette reviews the costs of the engineering studies necessary to get the project rolling forward. As the article mentions, this project means a huge benefit for Evansville, and all of Wisconsin.

The increased commercial valuation of a successful biodiesel and crushing plan for Evansville would be a huge asset for Evansville. As readers of The Observer have noted, Evansville has some dreams of new libraries, fire stations, schools,, etc, etc. and a key component of growth is a balance of commerical and residential, and thus residents are hopeful the success of these projects will mean a vital growing Evansville.

The First "Web Only" TV Show-----

It was just a matter of time. With the explosion of video on the web...and the larger screens available....that the first web only tv show would appear.

Click on the post for the full story.

Record Corn Harvest in No. Dakota;

Click on the post for the full story in Yahoo news. Many states ramped up production of corn. It remains to be seen whether this is a permanent thing since the market pricing seems to be demanding wheat. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Gazette Corner: FEMA DRC Center coming to Evansville Tomorrow

Click on the post for the article in the Janesville Gazette by Gina Duwe covering the DRC, Disaster Recovery Center coming to the Dean Community Center tomorrow.

Mailbag: "The Ground Truth" -the Movie--Evansville Eager Library 10-18-2007

Subject: Evansville event: The Ground Truth--Oct 18



Some months ago, Tom Boswell and I hosted a moveon.org gathering in our home to screen "The Ground Truth," a startling and powerful documentary about the lives of U.S troops serving in and returning from Iraq.



All of us who viewed the film that night felt it would be important to make the film available to the wider Evansville community.



So, on behalf of moveon.org, Tom and I have scheduled a screening and discussion of "The Ground Truth" at the Eager Free Library on Thursday evening October 18, from approximately 5:30 to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.



I hope you will plan to attend, and also circle Saturday, Oct 27 on your calendar, which is the day of a big Midwest Regional rally and march in Chicago to stop the war.



To make Oct 18 the best event possible, we need your help!! You can start by forwarding this e-mail to at least 2 friends who are not on this list.



We also need people who can help with organizational details such as publicity, literature table, tech support, greeters, room set up, clean up, and discussion.



Please respond to this e-mail if you are willing to help, indicating your area of interest. (note my new e-mail address: fzell@att.net)



Meanwhile here are two links that provide more information about the film: www.thegroundtruth.org/film.html and www.boston.com/movies/display?display=movie&id=9137





Sincerely,

Fran Zell and Tom Boswell

Post Office financing discussed

Common Council--9-11-2007-- Discussion of approving financing for possible purchase of post office for future expansion of library.

MP3 File

4,000,000 grant requested from State re crushing plant

Common Council: 9-11-2007: Council passes resolution supporting efforts at Wis. Legislature for 4,000,000 grant to help establish crushing plant in Evansville.

MP3 File

Audio: Council: FEMA comes Thursday

Common Council meeting--9-11-2007: Mayor Sandy Decker announces that FEMA will be opening a DRC, Disaster Recovery Center in Evansville on Thursday, 9-13-2007---complete audio remarks

MP3 File

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Plunkett Raysich: Status

Mr. Pierick mentions lack of access to the report for the public, and himself----asks for copy. Questions whether with lack of access whether the board is serious about proceeding.

Download File

Gender Equity: Supr. Carvin speaks

The Response to the data

Download File

School: Gender Equity: Pierick Suggests

Mr. Pierick made a suggestion on how to proceed to review the data involved in the study by Melissa Hammann on Gender equity.

Download File

Common Council Meets TONIGHT: 6:30PM

Click on the post for the full agenda in the Agenda Blog.

School: Home Construction Update

Tina Rossmiller provides update on status of Home Construction Course, additional precautions taken on basement, safety instruction for students, tools etc.

Download File

School Beat: Enrollment Decline

Supr. Carvin reveals enrollment decline: Final numbers will be on third Monday of Sept count as well as open enrollment final numbers.

Download File

School: 9-10-2007: Mr. Hatfield Speaks

Mr. Hatfield speaks on how the Buildings and Grounds Committee would like to proceed with Plunkett Raysich re plan for long range facilities.

MP3 File

School: Plunkett Raysich: 9-10-2007

Mr. Pierick reviews status of Plunkett Raysich Report---requests copies for the Board. Suggests this is the beginning if one is serious about taking some action. Total report not on the school web site.

MP3 File

School: 9-10-2007-Gender Equity

Melissa Hammann discusses her report to the
Board on data analysis on gender differences in ACT performance; Board discusses how to proceed to investigate significance

MP3 File

Monday, September 10, 2007

Minutes: Finance and Labor: September 2007

City of Evansville

Finance & Labor Relations Committee

Regular Meeting

Thursday, September 6, 2007, 5:30 pm

City Hall, 31 S. Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin

MINUTES

Call to Order. The meeting was called to order at 5:30 pm by Chair Tom Cothard.

Roll Call. Present: Chair Cothard and Alderpersons Mason Braunschweig and Diane Roberts. Also present: Mayor Sandy Decker, Finance Director Eric Jepperson, Administrator Dan Wietecha, Library Director Kathi Kemp-Tejeda, Dave Wagner, Greg Johnson, Roger Berg, and Dick Woulfe.

Approve Agenda. Braunschweig moved, seconded by Roberts to approve the agenda as presented. Motion approved unanimously.

Minutes of August 9, 2007, Meeting. Cothard moved, seconded by Braunschweig, to waive the reading of and to approve the minutes as presented. Motion approved unanimously.

Citizen Appearances. None.

Water and Light Bills. Cothard made a motion, seconded by Braunschweig, to approve the Water and Light bills in the amount of $825,609.95 and authorize their payment. Motion approved unanimously on a roll call vote.

City Bills. Cothard made a motion, seconded by Braunschweig, to approve the City bills in the amount of $537,816.86 and authorize their payment. Motion approved unanimously on a roll call vote.

Unfinished Business:

Evansville Hotel Group LLC. Wietecha presented the draft development agreement. He noted that the draft contained two forms of assistance: TIF as a $270,000 development incentive and a $50,000 low-interest loan. He recommended a simpler package of just a $300,000 development incentive. Johnson noted that they had reviewed the development and pro forma budgets for the project and found them to be reasonable with the proposed level of assistance. Wietecha said that, like other agreements, this one contains a guarantee that the project produce sufficient increment to cover the city's debt service. Wagner asked that they be granted some flexibility if minor details within the overall structure of the agreement still needed to be negotiated prior to Tuesday's Common Council meeting. Cothard asked that a requirement be added that local contractors have the opportunity to bid on the construction. Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Cothard, to recommend to the Common Council approval of the development agreement with Evansville Hotel Group LLC. Motion approved unanimously.

New Business:

Fall 2007 Bonds and Notes. Johnson distributed a memo outlining proposed borrowings for TID #6, TID #8, and building acquisitions. Taxable general obligation bonds are proposed to provide $300,000 assistance in TID #6, $500,000 assistance in TID #8, include capitalized interest, and cover issuing expenses totaling about $950,000. Tax-exempt general obligation bank notes for $169,000 are proposed for purchase of the current Fire Hall property; the balance of the purchase comes from savings in the police and EMS accounts. Taxable general obligation bank notes for $200,000 are proposed for the purchase of the current Post Office property to enable the future expansion of the library.

Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to recommend to the Common Council approval of a resolution authorizing notice and sale of not-to-exceed $1,000,000 in taxable general obligation community development bonds. Motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote.

Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to recommend to the Common Council approval of a resolution authorizing Ehlers & Associates, Inc., to solicit competitive bank loan proposals for approximately $169,000 general obligation promissory notes of the City of Evansville, Rock County, Wisconsin. Motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote.

Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to recommend to the Common Council approval of a resolution authorizing Ehlers & Associates, Inc., to solicit competitive bank loan proposals for approximately $200,000 taxable general obligation promissory notes of the City of Evansville, Rock County, Wisconsin. Motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote.

2008-2012 Capital Plan. The committee reviewed the proposed five-year plan. Jepperson noted that it contained the recommendations coming out of the various committees. Cothard made a motion, seconded by Braunschweig to recommend to the Common Council adoption of the five-year capital plan for 2008-2012. Motion approved unanimously on a roll call vote.

Library Expansion. Wietecha gave an overview of the library expansion situation. Acquiring the current Post Office property is the only realistic means of providing for the library to expand. The expansion is not scheduled until 2010 in the capital plan, but the city has the opportunity to purchase the property now. The asking price is $200,000 which he indicated to be a fair price based on the property's capitalization rate.

Wietecha said the Post Office has a lease through December 2014. The city could receive rent to offset the purchase price until ready of the library expansion. Forcing the Post Office out of the building prior to 2014 would require helping them relocate to a similar facility. Similar to eminent domain proceedings, the city would be responsible for any relocation expenses. If rent were higher at the new facility, the city would also be responsible for the difference through the end of the 2014 lease.

In answer to questions, Kemp-Tejeda said space is already tight but the library could wait about three years before expanding. Wagner noted that using a bank note to finance the purchase would allow some flexibility for prepayment if favorable for the city. He noted that approval of the financing would enable the purchase if the negotiations on the property proceeded to the Common Council's liking.

Sale of Lot on Water Street. Wietecha said the city owns a small, surplus parcel in the industrial area on Water Street. The city has been approached by Roger Berg about selling the property; Berg's company owns the adjacent property. According to the zoning standards, the minimum lot size is 40,000 square feet or 20,000 square feet with a conditional use permit. The property has not yet been surveyed, but it is expected to be smaller than the minimum lot size so the adjacent property owner is the most realistic purchaser. He proposes to purchase the lot and construct an $80,000 building similar to the four already on his property. When the city sold other properties on Water Street for industrial development, a formula had been established to calculate the sales price based on tax base and job creation. The committee asked Wietecha to research the original formula.

US Cellular Contract. Wietecha noted that the city's contract for service with US Cellular expires in October. In reviewing the changes in consumer contracts since the city first started contracting with US Cellular, it may be advisable to encourage a number of employees using the city contract for their personal phones to enter individual contracts on their own. The committee indicated that US Cellular is the only provider with reliable coverage in Evansville and that the city really had no choice but to continue with them.

Veolia Solid Waste Contract. Wietecha noted that the current contract expires in December. The committee indicated that Veolia (formerly Onyx) has done a very good job at a fair rate; their preference was to negotiate an extension of the contract.

Collective Bargaining Contracts. Wietecha noted that an initial meeting was scheduled for October 9 with the Wisconsin Professional Police Association. The committee asked that a meeting also be scheduled with the Teamsters Local 579 as soon as possible.

Employee Health Insurance Rates. Wietecha presented a memo from Human Resources Administrator Jodi Sam. Under the state's Employee Trust Fund, the lowest cost qualified provider in Rock County for 2008 will be Unity Community. The city's portion of insurance premiums is estimated to be about 12% higher in 2008 than in 2007.

2008 Operating Budget. Jepperson noted that a special Common Council meeting would be held on September 27 for discussing the 2008 operating budget with department heads.

Adjournment. On a motion by Braunschweig, seconded by Roberts, the meeting adjourned at 7:05 pm.

Evansville Population Study---the analysis--the perils of prophecy---OpEd

In the population study that was included in the Plunkett Raysich report by Evansville Schools and listed above on the Observer, they make the statement that their predictions of future population as well as future enrollment are more accurate in the near term than in the years out farther. This is a usual caution in all such reports.

The amazing thing is that in respect to population as well as enrollment, they were WRONG on BOTH counts---and for the very FIRST year of the prediction. In the past year we moved from population 4660 to 4666 and for the enrollment in Evansville Schools we showed a enrollment DECLINE. This is clearly in contradiction to all the graphs that show a continuation of the past rise of enrollment.

So--whether one would attempt to predict the future by looking at the past population or by looking at the past housing starts---both methods are filled with error possibilities---the future starts now, and the past provides no guarantees. Factors such as OPEN ENROLLMENT are growing in importance. The lack of virtual schooling options is one factor in the loss of students for the Evansville School district. The nationwide crash of the real estate market is of course another.

I would rather look at JOBS as a predictor of prosperity. I would guess that in job creation and business creation area, we have been going backward. That being said, one must also say that there will be an impact from the coming biodiesel JOBS in Evansville, although with a housing stock available for sale of 200, there is plenty of stock available for future residents. However, with the possible additional related economic growth related to the biodiesel core business, it is unclear how much demand for schools or housing will be created. I am not sure of the equation here. But then. The one thing we DO KNOW------ The equation of the population study that we do have is not an accurate predictor.

Stay tuned.

Photo Journal: Latest Photos of Evansville Cross Country

Click on the post for the latest.

Case 88-6; "The Whistleblowing Engineer"------U of Pitt---

Click on the post for an interesting case illustrating how professional ethics and engineering mix. Enjoy.

Minutes: Finance: 2007---Library discussion

(Ed.note: The following is the portion of the Finance Committee of Sept 2007 discussing the library expansion proposal and financing.)


Library Expansion. Wietecha gave an overview of the library expansion situation. Acquiring the current Post Office property is the only realistic means of providing for the library to expand. The expansion is not scheduled until 2010 in the capital plan, but the city has the opportunity to purchase the property now. The asking price is $200,000 which he indicated to be a fair price based on the property's capitalization rate.

Wietecha said the Post Office has a lease through December 2014. The city could receive rent to offset the purchase price until ready of the library expansion. Forcing the Post Office out of the building prior to 2014 would require helping them relocate to a similar facility. Similar to eminent domain proceedings, the city would be responsible for any relocation expenses. If rent were higher at the new facility, the city would also be responsible for the difference through the end of the 2014 lease.

In answer to questions, Kemp-Tejeda said space is already tight but the library could wait about three years before expanding. Wagner noted that using a bank note to finance the purchase would allow some flexibility for prepayment if favorable for the city. He noted that approval of the financing would enable the purchase if the negotiations on the property proceeded to the Common Council's liking.
L

Finance; Sept 2007: Ehlers Financing

(Ed. note: The following is a portion of the minutes of this meeting that dealt with the financing of additional debt for the City of Evansville.)

Fall 2007 Bonds and Notes. Johnson distributed a memo outlining proposed borrowings for TID #6, TID #8, and building acquisitions. Taxable general obligation bonds are proposed to provide $300,000 assistance in TID #6, $500,000 assistance in TID #8, include capitalized interest, and cover issuing expenses totaling about $950,000. Tax-exempt general obligation bank notes for $169,000 are proposed for purchase of the current Fire Hall property; the balance of the purchase comes from savings in the police and EMS accounts. Taxable general obligation bank notes for $200,000 are proposed for the purchase of the current Post Office property to enable the future expansion of the library.

Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to recommend to the Common Council approval of a resolution authorizing notice and sale of not-to-exceed $1,000,000 in taxable general obligation community development bonds. Motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote.

Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to recommend to the Common Council approval of a resolution authorizing Ehlers & Associates, Inc., to solicit competitive bank loan proposals for approximately $169,000 general obligation promissory notes of the City of Evansville, Rock County, Wisconsin. Motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote.

Braunschweig made a motion, seconded by Roberts, to recommend to the Common Council approval of a resolution authorizing Ehlers & Associates, Inc., to solicit competitive bank loan proposals for approximately $200,000 taxable general obligation promissory notes of the City of Evansville, Rock County, Wisconsin. Motion passed unanimously on a roll call vote.

School Board Meets Today---5:30PM

Click on the post for the full agenda.

Dateline Minnesota: Daily Planet: Science the bruise on Education Apple

Click on the post for an interesting article in today's Daily Planet.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Evansville Schools: Gender Equity Issue

(Ed.note: Gender equity will be on the agenda on Monday night at the Evansville School district monthly meeting. I have posted a portion of the discussion from the August meeting that led to the issue having a separate agenda listing this month. Enjoy.)


First of Two Video: Melissa Hammann speaks on how the 4 period day functions for boys v. girls, and questions with respect to the annual self evaluation of school districts whether Evansville needs to make changes so as to to make education successful for boys. In the past 8 years ACT scores have climbed from 19 to 23 for girls whereas for scores have remained constant for boys. Supr. Carvin mentioned that the boys had AG education.

Download File

2nd of Two Video: Gender equity

2nd of 2 video: On a results based analysis, there has been zero improvement in boys scores in average ACT standard achievement at EHS in 8 years. There will be discussion of this on Monday night.

The Evansville Observer hopes to have every word of the discussion as soon as it is completed.

The Evansville Observer. Where you hear and see the results. Quickly. Stay tuned.

Download File

Friday, September 07, 2007

BREAKING NEWS: ROCK County approved by FEMA for disaster assistance

In a press release today, FEMA has notified Evansville that Rock County has been added as a county approved for disaster assistance by FEMA----they will be bringing a trailer to Evansville next week and will be assisting residents......Details will be forthcoming so stay up to date with the City of Evansville web site for further details.

In the press release, FEMA says "Residents who suffered damages in any of the 14 counties designated for individual assistance should register with FEMA online www.fema.gov or call 1-800-621-FEMA. The toll-free numbers are available from 8am to 6pm seven days a week.

"Disaster assistance for individuals may include:

---Grants to help pay for temporary housing and home repairs to make a home habitable
----Grants for serious desaster-related expenses not covered by insurance.
-----Low-interest disaster loans from the US Small Business Administration (SBA) for homeowners, renters and business owners to cover residential and business losses not fully compensated by insurance."


Please spread the word about this good news for residents affected here in Evansville. In speaking to Mayor Decker she indicated that the exact time and day of the trailer arriving here in Evansville next week is unknown----- so stay tuned to the City Web site for details.

Post Office Purchase: $200,000

Evansville City Administrator Dan Wietecha reviews the sales price of the Post office of $200,000.

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Progress in Iraq--the video

Click on the post for the latest.

Finance: 9-6-2007

Evansville City Administrator Dan Wietecha explains the current lease situation with the post office and what the complexities of purchasing the property at this time would be.

Download File

Finance: Video: Ehlers and Assoc. Speaks

Greg from Ehlers and Associates, the financial advisors to Evansville, reviews the debt capacity of the City with respect to General Obligation borrowing, and where we are as a city.

definition:

ASSESSED VALUATION - the value of property against which an ad valorem tax is levied, usually a percentage of "true" or "market" value. In Wisconsin, the Department of Revenue annually publishes an "Equalized Value" report that estabishes the real estate value in each municipality for debt purposes. Under the Wisconsin Constitution, municipalities may not have general obligation debts outstanding that exceed 5% of their equalized value.






Download File

yahoo News: Virtual Schools growing rapidly for k-12

Click on the post for the story in today's yahoo News. The growth rate is 25% per year.

OpEd; Christmas, Searchlights, and the Power of Renewal

Years ago, just about Thanksgiving, I had the pleasure of managing the opening of a business----and decided that the most effective way to celebrate the opening was with searchlights. One searchlight actually.

About 5Pm right before dusk, it arrived. It looked like it was fresh out of a WWII film---in fact the model had not changed since then.

As soon as the light was lit and began searching the skies, folks came in the store and began asking......."What's going on....?"

Neighboring stores decided to stay open later to cash in on the foot traffic. People were stopping their cars and gawking, causing traffic jams. Good traffic jams. All in all it was a very successful promotion and one that I will never forget.

O.K. I know. Some of you savy political types will tell me that SEARCHLIGHTS are illegal under the sign ordinance for Evansville. Yes. You are correct.

However---the planning for Christmas is beginning right now for all the retailers. YES. The Back to School promotions are winding down, and everybody who is an early shopper has begun to get the lists ready, and look for the bargains before the prices rise.

When the NEW DOWNTOWN EVANSVILLE opens in November-----I can see the SEARCHLIGHT blazing in the sky. And the folks from all around driving here and asking-----"What the heck is happening?"

And we can tell them------"Welcome to the New Downtown Evansville---a great place to do business. If you have a business.....let's talk."

And what about the sign ordinance? We can relax that for one day. After all. We'll be ready to party....and restoring a downtown only happens every 100 years or so.

Mpls: View from the Bridge:

My brother's paper, The Longfellow Nokomis Messenger, has an interesting article on the bridge collapse. Click on the post.

WCCO: On "Ready " for College

Click on the post for an interesting article and video from WCCO4.

Yahoo News: Greenspan notes similarity of present to 1987

Just when I was getting nostalgic about the stock market crash of 1986, and the technical stuff, Alan Greenspan noted the similarity also.

Click on the post for the full story in Yahoo news.

School Beat: Photos: Evanville Boys JV Soccer

Click on the post for a glimpse of the Evansville Boys soccer match vs Mt. Horeb yesterday.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Finance: 9-6-2007

Discussion of vacant lot on Water Street, city is owner, Roger Berg as possible purchaser, price, etc.

MP3 File

Finance: The New Library

Discussion of purchase of post office property for future library expansion

MP3 File

Finance: Five Year Capital Plan

Finance Committee discusses the adoption of the five-year capital plan--2008---2012

MP3 File

Finance: Ehlers and Associates

Discussion of TID#6, TID 8, Financing of Fire Station and GO promissory notes for Post Office Acquisiton

MP3 File

Finance: 9-6-2007: The New Hotel

Discussion and motion to recommend development agreement with Evansville Hotel Group.

MP3 File

School Board meets Monday: Gender Equity; Plunkett Raysich on agenda

On Monday night, the Evansville School board will spend a few minutes pondering why in the past eight years girls have made significant progress in ACT achievement, while the boys have not made any. Their achievement levels have remained flat.

Long Range planning is also on the agenda with a discussion of the Plunkett Raysich report.

Click on the post for the full agenda.

yahoo: Career; Gen X got it right; Baby Boomers were wrong

Click on the post for a provoking article by the Brazen Careerist of Yahoo.

School GT staff announce Midwest Talent Search and Young Scholar Grant

* There will be a meeting for parents and students on September 25th about the Midwest Academic Talent Search.
* The WCATY Young Scholar Fair will be held on September 15th. Anyone who may be interested in applying for the Young Scholar Grant in March may consider attending the Young Scholar Fair for presentation ideas.



Out of Level Testing Opens Doors of Opportunity : MATS



Each year, the Center for Talent Development (CTD) at Northwestern University in Evanston , IL conducts the Midwest Academic Talent Search (MATS). Participating in this activity is voluntary and at parent/guardian discretion. Students in grades 3-6 may take the Explore test, a test designed for 8th grade students. Students who are in grades 6-9 may choose between the ACT and SAT tests, which are designed for high school juniors or seniors. Students may register online at: http://www.ctd.northwestern.edu/mats/index.html or you may register by mail. Registration materials for mail registration will be available in mid-September in the Resource Room and in the school office. There is a registration fee and a testing fee. Some fee waivers are available from Northwestern, but apply early for these.



The Madison United for Academic Excellence (MUAE) group, the Wisconsin Center for Academically Talented Youth (WCATY) and the Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) invite you to a meeting to learn about MATS testing and opportunities it opens up for top-scoring students. The meeting will be held September 25, 2007, 7:00-8:30 PM at the Doyle Administration Building (in the McDaniels Auditorium).



If you wish to experience first-hand the kind of doors MATS testing can open, attend the WCATY Young Scholars Fair, September 15, 2007, at American Family Headquarters in Madison . For more information on the fair, contact WCATY at 271-1617 or e-mail at info@wcaty.org.



Once again, we will be publishing a monthly e-newsletter. The September edition will be out shortly.



I hope we all have a wonderful school year.



Your GT Program Staff,



Kitty Ver Kuilen, District Coordinator and MS Resource

Marissa Morstad, HS GT Resource and Guidance Counselor

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

NYT: Spin Corner: Fed in Beige Book minimizes....

Click on the post for the full article in the New York Times. The Beige Book came out today and it seems that the spin was to minimize the impact of the current housing situation. This is not what Wall Street had hoped for.

Click on the post for the full New York Times article.

Is the New Library Next?

Click on the post for the agenda of Finance and Labor for Thursday, Sept. 6, 2007. Purchase of the old post office site is on the agenda.

Stay tuned to The Evansville Observer.

School Beat: Mrs. Oswald wins 2007 Middle School Teacher of the Year!!!!

(Ed.note: This was received via the K12Know system.)


September 5, 2007

The Evansville School District is proud to announce that Beth Oswald is
the 2007 Wisconsin Middle School Teacher of the Year. Mrs. Oswald
received the news, September 5, 2007, when she received a call from
Libby
Burmaster, the Wisconsin State Superintendent of Schools.

Mrs. Oswald is truly humble in her response to winning the award. She
believes there is no such thing as an individual award when you work
in
a middle school. All of the wonderful things we do for our students
are a team effort. Mrs. Oswald would like to thank all of our staff
members and team members who work hard on a daily basis to make great
things happen for our students.

For example, the 7th Grade Team at JC McKenna Middle School teaches a
number of integrated units that make learning meaningful and fun. At
the end of the school year all the students take part in a Medieval
Day
in which staff members dress in costumes, bring in guest speakers, and
have musicians perform for students. Seventh graders also experience
a
“Medieval Feast” based on the food people ate in the fourteenth
century during lunch!

In addition to her teaching duties, Mrs. Oswald is the co-advisor of
Student Council with Mrs. Gretchen Kopf. Student Council is
responsible
for providing leadership opportunities for students as well as raising
thousands of dollars for charity.

Mrs. Oswald received the Herb Kohl Fellowship Award in 2007. As the
2007 Wisconsin Middle School Teacher of the Year Mrs. Oswald is
automatically one of the final four teachers in the state eligible to
earn the
prestigious Wisconsin “Teacher of the Year” honors.

Mailbag: Mark Schnepper Writes:

(Ed.note: Mark has requested that this letter be posted.)

"I have removed my two videos from youtube that have the captions "Lake Westfield Meadows" and "Flooding Courtesy of Westfield Meadows." I would like to apologize to the developers of Westfield Meadows for these video captions, because I do not have any evidence to support these captions. These were nothing more than my opinions."

Mark H. Schnepper

Gazette: OPEd: Edgerton Fire District: On Public Comments

Click on the post for the OpEd in the Gazette today. The Edgerton fire district seems to have a little problem on its hands. Stay tuned.

OpEd: "Jawboning"---- effective method or cruel hoax

Sometimes when policy makers do not want to take concrete steps to solve problems, they indulge in an exercise called "jawboning." This "jawboning" has risen to a high art in financial and political circles, whether you are the Federal Reserve Chairman or the President of the US or whomever.

Last weekend I went to Wisconsin Dells to join my editor brother in a doubles game of tennis with two younger...and faster tennis players. My bro and I only had age and .....whatever wisdom we called "experience" to work with. Speed, vision and deft of hand has been slipping for some time. O.K. You understand the situation we were in.

It was a furious paced game with lots of net play. Just the kind of game Denis and I have always loved. At a critical point, Denis hit from the baseline a direct ball toward the opposing net player, who hit it with his backhand, and popped a weak lob in the air, which I smashed for a winner.....one of the few of the day for me.

As I walked to the other side of the net, celebrating, I cheered my bro on and said, "Let's go big guy.....they may be losing their arm strength."

On the next play, the opponent smashed the ball at me and although I was ready for it, it came on the backhand and I blew the shot. The "Jawboning" had worked. I had the shot I wanted....just not the skill needed.

So------"Jawboning" as a rule of thumb is always the mark of weakness.

Think of President Bush "jawboning" the mortgage industry to "work with" the holders of the mortgages that are going to be set to new higher interest rates---over a million of them this coming year. He has the power to take effective administrative action to modify the rules of handling, but instead uses "jawboning." That indicates weakness and .....portends trouble.

"Jawboning" in the mortgage case is his way of distancing himself from the problem---a problem that he cannot distance himself from since the Treasury supervises or.....should have supervised....the industry.

In fact.....over the past 30 years whether it has been the savings and loan industry in the 80's, the bond fiasco, the stock market crash, the techno bubble, or the current situation---- money.....special interest campaign money has impaired the proper functioning of our government in the financial sector.

For years, the government has been trying to weaken the barrier between banks and the stock brokerage industry---the Glass Stiegel Act of 1933. To the extent that they have weakened this barrier, banks too have become vulnerable to the downdraft of bundled mortgage products they are financially tied to.

So---the problem: Right when we need effective decisive action from our government we get just "jawboning." Kinda like we got with Hurrican Katrina.

Today the stock market seems to be responding to the "jawboning."----and seeing right though it. That is how I see it.

Stay tuned.